Visited a new Wednesday night service last week, and did not play (novel idea). It’s a midweek service that my wife and I have been wanting to check out for a while; only this time, she couldn’t come. So I walked in by myself. And you know what? That’s like, really scary! I walked in as a brand new, random guy; not the worship leader, with setlists to check and pre-service meetings to go over…not the guitarist, with extra capo’s in my car that I can give the pretense of going to get when there’s awkward downtime…just me. Eventually I met up with a friend of mine and no longer did I feel like the lonely creeper hanging in the back pretending to text message people while I’m really just changing my ringtone back and forth. (It was a young adults service, and at 26, I feel like I’m a young adult. Until I saw all the 19 year olds. I seriously felt like Father Time.) So it ended up cool, and it was a good service. And, remembering again what it’s like to walk into a new church for the first time without having the luxury of ‘being in the band’ or being with someone (haven’t done that since before I was dating my wife), I just wanted to commend them on a couple things. Of course there was some not so good stuff too, but you gotta expect that anywhere there’s, well…people. So, new church I visited once:

  • thank you for your greeters saying, ‘Hello, welcome’, instead of giving me an awkward and usually inter-gender hug and then asking how my purity has been this week.
  • keyboardist, thank you for playing pads on the slow stuff, and then rather then getting bitter that the keyboards usually can’t be heard when the song builds back up, for taking your hands off the keyboard and worshiping.
  • pastor guy, thanks for not letting the chorus of oddly placed ‘amens’ make your ego swell up and cause you to jump onto an emotional tangent of ‘nations rising in the victory that is our birthright’ that has nothing to do with your message.
  • thank you for talking about missions.
  • thank you for not making new people stand so that we can ‘feel welcome.’
  • worship leaders, thank you for taking turns so that my worship doesn’t become complacent upon one person.
  • lighting dudes, thank you for creating different moods for different songs, but with subtlety. That means without the strobe.
  • drummer, thank you for quietly keeping time during the down parts, as it’s a well-known fact that us worship leaders and guitarists have absolutely hopeless tempo…and that’s even with delay pedals on.
  • thank you for allowing your guitarists, bassist, and keyboardist to have their amps on stage.
  • thank you for making sure you gave people the chance to decide to give their love to God for the first time at the end.

Oh! And worship leaders! Huge props to you guys for making this the first ‘big’ church I’ve been to in a while where the worship leaders don’t have the Brewster ‘my hair is bigger than my face’ haircut or the lead dude from Hillsong United’s ‘indie meets Grease’ haircut. Not that there’s anything wrong with those styles, but it is refreshing to see worship teams without them…just every once in a while. Especially seeing as I was so nervous at walking in alone that I wore my ‘please think I’m Chris Martin’ jacket. Unfortunately, I did enough posing for all of us. ;)

Splendid.
Karl.